Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati was a profound thinker, philosopher, spiritual teacher and one of the greatest masters of Vedanta. He was born on August 15, 1930, in Manjakkudi, a small village on the banks of River Kaveri in Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu.
As a world renowned spiritual teacher, Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s influence on the world stage has been enormous. Posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan, he was the founder of AIM for Seva, Swami Dayananda Educational Trust, Arsha Vidya Research & Publication Trust and Arsha Vidya Gurukulams in India and USA.
Though deeply rooted in the richness of Indian tradition, Swami Dayananda Saraswati was contemporary in his thinking and approach to the issues of the day. His impeccable logic, brilliant analysis, erudition, precise use of language, and humour made him a renowned and sought after teacher of Advaita Vedanta. His discourses taught the most profound truths in simple language, leaving the audience spellbound.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati did not confine himself just to Vedanta. His benevolence and empathy extended to all civilisations, and all cultural forms that helped bring positive change in the lives of thousands of people. He strove to preserve, nurture and appreciate the diversity of human culture.
The Swami Dayananda Educational Trust (SDET), founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswati in 2003, is based in Manjakkudi in Tiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu. Nestled amidst lush paddy fields, Manjakkudi (the birthplace of our founder) is home to an integrated community development project instituted, developed and sustained by SDET. Over close to two decades now, SDET’s continued work through its projects have transformed this silent village into a vibrant centre of learning, nourishing young minds to explore, experiment and expand their horizon.
A major transformation is silently underway in this tiny hamlet in the Kaveri delta of southern Tamil Nadu. Since 2001, one initiative led to another — education and employment, Vedic school, farming and cows and community healthcare — reflecting a logical and symbiotic evolution of one project with and after another.
Today, Manjakkudi has evolved to become a knowledge hub with 4,000 students from 300 villages commuting daily to study in the three educational institutions located in this region.
Manjakkudi represents a socio-economic eco-system that has embraced modernity yet maintained its essential rural ethos. The integrated community development programme by SDET aims to create societal change and progress from the grassroots without compromising the character of rural traditions, culture and lifestyle.
The deep-rooted impact of our projects can be seen not just in the lives we touch, but also by the fact that we fulfill the key developmental parameters laid out by national and international development programmes: The Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), instituted by the Government of India, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) charted by the United Nations.
The Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) is a rural development programme broadly focusing on the development in the villages, which includes social development, cultural development and spread motivation among the people on social mobilization of the village community. The programme was launched by the Prime Minister of India, Sri. Narendra Modi, on October 11, 2014. Our projects are in line with the following parameters laid by the programme:
The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint set out by the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The SDGs address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice, with the aim of achieving the goals by 2030. Of the given set of 17 goals, SDET fulfils the aims of eight SDGs. The eight SDGs are: